Any Love for Herohammer?


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Post Fri Aug 21, 2015 5:39 am

Any Love for Herohammer?

I've been thinking of the different eras of Warhammer... Urhammer (1e), Oldhammer (2e and 3e), Herohammer (4e and 5e) and Newhammer (everything else). I noticed that people rarely bring up Herohammer. The same can be said for 1e, but 4th/5th in the 1990's was a breakout period for Warhammer and Games Workshop—sales increased dramatically, Warhammer entered new markets (perhaps most importantly North America), new production techniques brought boxed expansions with cards and templates as well as big box starter sets, Games Workshop expanded into new formats like boardgames and many new players were introduced to the wargaming hobby through Warhammer and 40k 2nd Edition. Technically speaking, there should be a lot of gamers that first cut their teeth on Herohammer. Yet this silent majority remains quiet...

Certainly Herohammer gets some flak. The common criticism—that heroes and magic were "too powerful"—is well known enough to become a predictable and uninteresting truism. Yet, everyone played and loved the game during that era as well—something we can see in the expansion of Warhammer sales and the growth of the community in this period. The strength of the tournament scene even suggest that, in some practical ways at least, the fear of overpowered characters didn't stop most tournament-goers from showing up to organized events in droves.

So, pushing past the fog of forgetfulness and apathy, what did Herohammer do well? If you were one of those who joined the hobby in the 90's, how did 4th/5th capture your imagination?
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Post Fri Aug 21, 2015 6:45 am

Re: Any Love for Herohammer?

We arent all silent ;)

http://funkywenisrodeo.blogspot.com.au/ ... f.html?m=1

Personally I'm of the opinion that the rulesets matter a lot less than the people using them and the fun that is had in proportion. 4th/5th are simpler games than their earlier incarnations which meant it was more accessible to a wider, and younger audience of gamers, of which I was one. Heroquest was the springboard into the hobby for me, but it wasn't the rules per se as I hardly got to play it - it was the models and the flights of imagination they represented, and which they still represent. The guys I play against, CvB, Archaeopteryx, don't seem too fussed about the rules either, they just want to have fun, and fun we have in spades :)

The reality of Herohammer is that it does need a little help from 'sensible' adults to rein in some of the more ludicrous elements such as overpowered items and bad, bad combos - a cap of 50pts for items and few or no special characters brings it back to earth a bit, but at the end of the day I do like seeing heroic characters being heroic and Herohammer delivers :D just watch out for Bloodthirsters...
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Post Fri Aug 21, 2015 7:12 am

Re: Any Love for Herohammer?

I'm certainly not quiet about 4th, I love it, admittedly with toned down characters now.

In fact, at BOYL2015 my self and my friend played two games of 4th (reports on my blog) and next year I plan on running "The Battke for Maugthrond Pass" scenario from the boxed set and am contemplating running a campaign with the 5th edition campaign rules.

I think the real issue is that a lot of people view 4th as being a simpler and therefore inferior game, which in my opinion is snobbishness. It's a rules set that works well for a fast paced game in my opinion.

I also think some view 4th as the "sell out" edition so frown upon it.
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Post Fri Aug 21, 2015 10:30 am

Re: Any Love for Herohammer?

What Crooks said, Heroquest was my introduction too- barely played it, and despite wanting to I never played 4th/5th WHFB back then but that was my era...I lived it through White Dwarf.

I'm very fond of the 90's/red period in both FB and 40K.

At the end of the day though, I'll play 7th or AOS or whatever as long as I get to use my beloved tin soldiers and we have fun.
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Post Fri Aug 21, 2015 12:14 pm

Re: Any Love for Herohammer?

As the others said the most important thing is having a good time with friends and any game can do the job with the right people, but I do not agree with the snobbishness accusation, I did play 4th and 5th a lot at the time but there was something missing/different as 4th/5th is really a completely different game than 2nd/3rd, there are a lot of differences, for examples :
- No reserve : replaced by march move
- simplify maneuvering on the battlefield
- no push back (and fleeing units managed differently)
- new war machines rules (with new dices)
- no dice other than D6
- New % rules to build the armies
- apparition of an army book per faction (but the list of standard miniatures and monsters is covered in the books), with special characters
- No GM, and the rule of use a D6 if you disagree on a rule
- The beginning of promoting tourneys in White Dwarf as a new way to play with the straight battles without any scenarios or narrative
- to hit table shifted by 1 (in 4th you needed a 3 when it was a 4 in 3rd...) with some other changes (no more hits on 2, and 5 became the higher unmodified needed to hit
- magic system as a game in the game
- ...

I don't say that 4/5th is not a good game, but, the changes are so important that it loose a lot of what makes 2nd/3rd interesting at first, at least to me. I am not crying as they oversimplified the game nor I am stating that the game is unbalanced or totally biased if you do use the super special characters as I don't care for this, but you have to admit that they just made a different one and I can really understand that people do prefer to play 2nd/3rd without being snobbish at all.
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Post Fri Aug 21, 2015 1:00 pm

Re: Any Love for Herohammer?

Thats actually a pretty short list Treps. Mainly of stuff that isn't that different.

- No reserve : replaced by march move

Not a huge differnence. Most people combined their reserve move into their full move anyway.

- simplify maneuvering on the battlefield

Again, who actually followed the full rules for maneuvering. Lifes to short for all that and the end result usually resembles what you end up with if you just fudge it

- no push back (and fleeing units managed differently)

This is a fairly large change but I struggle to see what is lost, the same result is reached quicker in 4th is all.

- new war machines rules (with new dices)

These really needed changing, Warmachines in 3rd rule the table.

- no dice other than D6

Is this bad? Other dice were only used very rarely.

- New % rules to build the armies

This is in warhammer armies too. With maximums and minimums on top.

- apparition of an army book per faction (but the list of standard miniatures and monsters is covered in the books), with special characters

There is the white book like Armies. The biggest problem is they obscure the points system for elite troops but this is easy to work out. Don't restrict yourself to the army books if you don't want to.

- No GM, and the rule of use a D6 if you disagree on a rule

It doesn't say you can't have a GM or roll a d6 which has always been there. We certainly did it in 3rd. With out a GM.

- The beginning of promoting tourneys in White Dwarf as a new way to play with the straight battles without any scenarios or narrative

This was part of third too. The whole point of Warhammer Armies was for tourney play with daverts in the back for the warhammer register for tourney play.

- to hit table shifted by 1 (in 4th you needed a 3 when it was a 4 in 3rd...) with some other changes (no more hits on 2, and 5 became the higher unmodified needed to hit

A positive step as far as I'm concerned. Things happen quicker but are really just the same.

- magic system as a game in the game
Sometimes I like this magic system better than 3rd sometimes the other way round. Its easy to bolt either type onto either game.
I hate 4ths treatment of Orc magic but notihing using dark magic doesn't solve.


In all I think my perfect bodge hammer is 3.7 or to put it another way, 4th borrowing some of the troop types and formations from 3rd. Maybe the magic depending upon how I feel. I don't see a massive difference in the two editions.
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Post Fri Aug 21, 2015 1:10 pm

Re: Any Love for Herohammer?

treps wrote:As the others said the most important thing is having a good time with friends and any game can do the job with the right people, but I do not agree with the snobbishness accusation, I did play 4th and 5th a lot at the time but there was something missing/different as 4th/5th is really a completely different game than 2nd/3rd, there are a lot of differences, for examples :
- No reserve : replaced by march move
- simplify maneuvering on the battlefield
- no push back (and fleeing units managed differently)
- new war machines rules (with new dices)
- no dice other than D6
- New % rules to build the armies
- apparition of an army book per faction (but the list of standard miniatures and monsters is covered in the books), with special characters
- No GM, and the rule of use a D6 if you disagree on a rule
- The beginning of promoting tourneys in White Dwarf as a new way to play with the straight battles without any scenarios or narrative
- to hit table shifted by 1 (in 4th you needed a 3 when it was a 4 in 3rd...) with some other changes (no more hits on 2, and 5 became the higher unmodified needed to hit
- magic system as a game in the game
- ...

I don't say that 4/5th is not a good game, but, the changes are so important that it loose a lot of what makes 2nd/3rd interesting at first, at least to me. I am not crying as they oversimplified the game nor I am stating that the game is unbalanced or totally biased if you do use the super special characters as I don't care for this, but you have to admit that they just made a different one and I can really understand that people do prefer to play 2nd/3rd without being snobbish at all.


For you the simplification takes away from the game that is 2nd/3rd, I can agree with that. My "Snobbish" comment is aimed at those that deride 4th because of it. What you type above is pointing out differences, not deriding so my "snobbish" comment does not apply to you.

At BOYL2015 Orlygg said 4th turned him off. I asked why, he said the general feel of it, then he confessed to have never played it. That's Oldhammer snobbishness (sorry James, but it it). Don't dismiss it without trying it first, you never know, you may actually like it.

There ARE Oldhammerers out there that look down their noses at it and to me that's just rude. It's a viable rules set that's oodles of fun to play that a large chunk of people DO like, so don't try to make us feel inferior for liking it. If I have a large amount of time to play then yes, 3rd is great, but if I want a quick game then 4th it is, what's wrong with that?

Oh and for the record, Orlygg was not rude to me, he's a very nice chap, he seemed like he could be persuaded to give it a go. I'm referring to those that dismiss it out of hand. I honestly have no issue with people who try it and say they prefer 3rd (or any other incarnation), I have an issue with people who are rude and dismissive about it, as though it doesn't belong under the Oldhammer banner. For me Oldhammer is about bringing people in, not shutting them out in the cold because you don't like the rules set they like.
Last edited by Snickit on Fri Aug 21, 2015 2:07 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Post Fri Aug 21, 2015 1:49 pm

Re: Any Love for Herohammer?

I guess I land somewhere between Erny and Treps on this one....I find the changes that Treps points out to be quite significant...reserve move is quite different than March move...there is much more tactical flexibility in reserve move. In 4th I really detest that a unit that is followed up is instantly destroyed...this bothers me to no end...when I played it (yes I have the box set to prove it) we frequently had a hero push back a large unit of grunts and suddenly destroy them all...terrible...the free hack and pursuit rules in 3rd are so much better IMO. Etc etc.

That said I agree that the war machine rules in 4th are better....and I may even be persuaded to try the modified "to hit" table particularly after a recent game where my unit was charged both fore and aft by orcs and then all three units spent the next 4 rounds never landing a hit on each other! As to magic I think I prefer restrained 3rd ed magic to the card based 4th ed system...

So what does all this blathering mean....I certainly don't look down my nose at anyone playing 4th...more power to you...I do however look down my nose at the company that made it. I think that's the real difference....it went from being a gamers game...to a money making board Games+ aimed at younger folks. From a corporate point of view it was a good move....just not one some of Us Old timers approved of.

Btw Warhammer in my part of North America was already well established by the release of 4th ed....in fact I had been playing it with many different people for more than 5 years by that time. It may have expanded the market yet further but it was already very popular in my neck of the woods (southern Ohio)

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Post Fri Aug 21, 2015 1:50 pm

Re: Any Love for Herohammer?

I guess on Ernys scale that puts me at about Warhmmer 3.4... :D

Cheers,

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Post Fri Aug 21, 2015 2:05 pm

Re: Any Love for Herohammer?

I came into the hobby with 3rd but barely played it at the time (it never was released in France) so 3rd was more a graphic inspiration for me than anything (I also started 40k with the late RT additions that made it look like a proto 2nd ed).
That said I got back to playing the older versions afterwards (and having played most editions apart from 5th) which means getting back on 3rd meant to get this very slow perception of combats (with pushbacks and those "to hit" charts) and I do prefer them for simple reasons : most rules can be find in a book or 2 and there's not a lot of "special" rules. I just tire when every unit has its own personnal special rule because it gives more focus to the game mechanic and less to the narrative part.
My ideal is therefore a mix of 3 and 4 as well for the very same reasons as Erny.

For RT I think it'd just be a matter of putting all the rules in the right order ^^

Oh and apart from the rules I think the whole aesthetic of those edition play alot in our appreciation. MY vision of warhammer is the blanchesque approach you find in 2nd and 3rd (counting WHFRP too) more than the red YMCA of herohammer but that's just personnal taste, some will argue that the only true WH id Tony Ackland's for instance.
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